Monday, August 13, 2012

Falasha Village

Saturday started off much like Friday morning with the Orthodox churches chanting, a misty cool morning sitting on the roof top terrace guzzling coffee and savoring the hot fresh honey on warm bread.  It's not a bad way to start the day.  Tamirat had another full day of adventures planned for us.  We took a longer horse cart ride up into the mountains of Gonder to the Falasha Village.
Apparently there is a lot of spellings but most commonly it's spelled Falasha. I have no idea why the sign says differently.
The Falashas in Ethiopia are Abyssinian Jews, they believe themselves to be direct decedents from Menelik  (the first Emperor of Abyssinia), the son of  King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.  The mystical origins of the Beta Israel (House of Israel) in Ethiopia are fascinating. Ethiopian Jews had been living in Falasha village for centuries. In 1984 Operation Moses was a covert evacuation of over 8,000 Ethiopian Jews back to Israel. The village still stands and local Ethiopians have moved in and are still creating the handicrafts that were sold by the Jews for generations.  The story is much more interesting that what we got to see upon our visit.  We purchased a small pottery King Solomon and Queen of Sheba with their son Menelik statue.  We took a break from our travels, I nursed Ashlynn, Bella made some friends and we met some children selling items.  One little girl kept trying to sell us US quarters and Euros.  It's interesting that the village still stands as it did when the Ethiopian Jews inhabited it but sad now that it's a tourist trap.

Lion of Judah
The Ethiopian women always get a kick out of me plopping down to nurse Ashlynn in the middle of their village.  Nothing better to break down the barriers between us. Plus Ashlynn wins all their hearts with her dimple smiles after she's full of milk.
Bella happy as a clam with her pottery frog...which she broke 30 minutes later when it fell out of her pocket during our horse cart ride. She spent the next day and a half asking us to hot glue it.  Typical Bean!

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